Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

December 6, 2019
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Game Experts Rank Their Top 5 Games of the Decade

This year marks the end of the second decade of the 2000s. In honor of this, we thought we’d take a look back at our decade with an end-of-year series. The internet loves lists, especially year-end ones, and we’ll feed that love a little bit this December. We’ll be hosting seven lists of expert Decade-Best picks. We’ve done movies, and you can look forward to writing, television, music, traditional visual arts, and one surprise list at the end. Each will include philosophers working in these and related areas, but also other academics whose work concerns these topics and people working in the relevant media. But up today: games! We asked our experts to rank their top five games of all kinds, so let’s see what the 2010s gave us to play with. Our contributors are: Christopher Bartel, professor in Philosophy at Appalachian State University Thi Nguyen, associate professor in Philosophy … Continue reading

March 6, 2019
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Is Commander Shepard Female? Determining Canon in Video Games

What follows is a post in our JAAC x AFB collaborative series, where we highlight articles from the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. This post features Marissa D. Willis’ recent paper, “Choose Your Own Adventure: Examining the Fictional Content of Video Games as Interactive Fictions“. “Video games don’t tell stories,” he told me. “They’re just games.” So said a friend of mine when I told him I was writing about video games as works of fiction. And despite his mansplaining my own topic to me, my friend was giving voice to the very problem which I hope to address. Despite the fact that more people are playing video games these days than ever before, and game makers continue to create more inventive and engaging narrative works every day, my friend is not alone in his opinion.

February 28, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
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*This Thursday* JAAC X AFB Discussion: Tavinor on Video Games

Just another reminder that the next JAAC x AFB Discussion will be appearing this Thursday, March 2. We will be looking at “What’s My Motivation? Video Games and Interpretive Performance” (abstract below the fold) by Grant Tavinor, available in JAAC’s Winter 2017 volume, 75 (1), online here. Grant is Senior Lecturer of Philosophy at Lincoln University, NZ and author of the book The Art of Videogames. And big thanks to C. Thi Nguyen (Assistant Professor, Utah Valley University) for providing the critical précis. Grant will provide a response, and they will both be available to discuss your questions and thoughts in the comments. Mark it in your calendars, and look forward to seeing you then!

February 21, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Upcoming JAAC X AFB Discussion: Tavinor on Video Games

The third JAAC x AFB Discussion will be appearing next Thursday, March 2. We will be looking at “What’s My Motivation? Video Games and Interpretive Performance” (abstract below the fold) by Grant Tavinor, available in JAAC’s Winter 2017 volume, 75 (1), online here. Grant is Senior Lecturer of Philosophy at Lincoln University, NZ and author of the book The Art of Videogames. And big thanks to C. Thi Nguyen (Assistant Professor, Utah Valley University) for providing the critical précis. Grant will provide a response, and they will both be available to discuss your questions and thoughts in the comments. Mark it in your calendars, and look forward to seeing you then!

February 10, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Yougov Survey Answers Perennial Question: Can Video Games Be Art?

Survey says… No. :'( But tattoos can be, and many other things. Internet-based market research company YouGov asked over 1500 Brits whether they thought various mediums could be art. Their results: Unsurprisingly, results varied a lot across age groups, and some across class. Take a look at YouGov’s write-up of these surveys, and their detailed survey results. This updates some older results they got in 2014. Well, I guess we can shut things down around here. Thanks to everyone for playing! p.s. But seriously, stay tuned for the next JAAC x AFB Discussion on this beloved non-art-form. We’ll be discussing Grant Tavinor’s JAAC paper “What’s My Motivation? Video Games and Interpretive Performance”. Photo credit: Ryan Quick, The Art of Video Games via Flickr

February 13, 2014
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Why Video Games in Art Museums Still Aren’t Art

What follows is a guest post by Brock Rough. Brock is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (2010, MA in Philosophy), and currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Philosophy. His research focuses on the art status and ontology of videogames, their role as a test case for theories of art, and the ontology and intersection of games and art. Before pursuing philosophy, Brock spent several years working as a portrait painter. Videogames are a massive cultural phenomenon. They have come far from the early days of Pong, Pac-Man, and Super Mario Bros. to become productions with Hollywood blockbuster-sized budgets and sales records, like the Call of Duty, Madden NFL, and Grand Theft Auto series’. With such popularity, it was inevitable that some would begin to question the art status of, at least some, videogames. And for some, the issue has been put to … Continue reading